Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lilacs Redux

Now, for a well-deserved break from memories and lessons learned.  It's time for me to move on to flowers.  Lilacs, to be specific.

Lilacs are one of my most favorite flowers.  As I wrote last year around this time, we have rather a lot of lilac shrubs at Darlington that (usually) produce a profusion of flowers.  I love gathering our lilacs by the armload when they come into blossom, and filling the rooms of Darlington House with their gorgeous presence.  Not only are they beautiful, spilling over the vases like frothy clouds, but their marvelous, heady fragrance pervades the rooms, too.  Lilacs are one of life's greatest pleasures, I believe.

This year our lilacs only produced a few blossoms, due to a combination of a too-mild winter and a too-dry spring, I understand.  We gathered what ones that we could, and have enjoyed their fleeting beauty for as long as they lasted.

A vase of lilacs in our dining room at Darlington House,
lit by the slanting rays of the afternoon sun

What a delight they were, Dear Reader!

Photographs by Boy Fenwick


  1. I miss lilacs! They won't grow well in Southern California. But when I lived in the Bay Area, my family rented a house for several years that had a row of lilac trees right outside my bedroom window. The fragrance was divine! I'd open my windows at night and tolerate the chill just to get that perfume. Thanks for sharing your lilacs with us, and for triggering a lovely memory.

  2. I miss lilacs, too, along with bridal wreath (spiraea) which blooms in the Midwest this time of year.

  3. Beautiful Reggie. I think it's hard to grow lilacs in my part of the Bay Area too. Same for peonies and tulips. But Boy's photos are just so gorgeous here I guess I can survive:).

  4. Our lilacs are the prairie were the prettiest that I've seen -- and we had too mild of a winter as well but I'm not sure about the moisture -- but we had NO snow and not much rain so I'm thinking we were dry as well!

    I, like you, adore lilacs -- coming downstairs in the morning and having that aroma hit you is so amazing -- and all because you brought a bouquet (well, let's not mince words -- an armload!) of lilacs in!

    And ours bloomed way earlier than usual as well --

    This definitely was a lilac year for us . . . hoping next year will be as well!

  5. The lilacs tossing in the winds of May,
    All welcomed this majestic holiday!
    ~H.W. Longfellow

    So nice to see that the 'Family Secrets' haven't made Darlington a Bleak House.

  6. I love lilacs so much, but live in a city apartment and miss terribly having lilac bushes in a yard. My building has lilac bushes on the side of the building and they are all gloriously in bloom right now. It's heaven to go by them on the sidewalk & smell their perfume. We have mostly the pink ones, but those white ones you have look glorious. Thanks so much for the photos.

  7. The summers here are far too hot for lilacs, but I do miss them. It was so great to wake up in the morning with the air in the unairconditioned house so heavy with fragrance.

  8. We had a lot of lilacs this year. A friend gathered an armful for me and they were juat stunning... for about three days! I wished they lasted longer.


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